Yankees president Randy Levine made steroid jokes involving Robinson Cano to Alex Rodriguez via e-mail twice during the summer of 2012, according to excerpts of several exchanges released by New York Magazine.
The series of emails allows a rare insight into the relationship between Levine and Rodriguez. What starts with lighthearted exchanges that sometimes verge on the edge of parody turns to exasperation on Rodriguez's part as the Biogenesis saga plays out. Rodriguez was suspended a record 211 games in August for his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis clinic and performance-enhancing drugs. He has appealed the suspension.
Levine's first reported steroid reference comes on July 30, 2012 when he writes Rodriguez about Cano, who is in the midst of a slump: "...he needs some steroids fast!" Levine called the remark a "bad joke" later.
Less than a month later, Levine again appears to make a seemingly joking reference to Cano using PEDs: "Hey, what's up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid."
Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners in December.
But the A-Rod-Levine relationship turned from silly to sour as the Biogenesis drama played out. With Rodriguez fearing the Yankees were trying to keep him from returning to the team, he wrote Levine on Aug. 3, 2013:
"Can u please stop!! I want to play baseball and I could make a big difference to the game. Steinbrenner would roll in his grave IF he knew what was happening! Stop, Randy, this isn't going to be good for any of us!! You are a businessman and what you are doing is ruining the business of baseball. If u want to meet in person to discuss it, let's do it!"